Summary: Jonah rebels against God’s will. God disciplines Jonah and teaches us all a lesson in obedience

SERIES: “DISCOVER OBEDIENCE: Jonah – Not Just Another Big Fish Story”

TEXT: JONAH 1:1-17


OPEN: A. William Sherwood Fox wrote:

We ask a simple question

And that is all we wish:

Are fishermen all liars?

Or do only liars fish?

B. What is a “big fish story”?

1. A big fish story is when we tell folks just how HUGE that one catch was

--always adding inches and pounds to the story each time its told

2. Did you hear about the one-armed man who went fishing?

--He caught one THIS BIG (hold up one hand in front with other arm behind back)

3. A big fish story is something that is made up, manufactured, containing only a partial truth if


C. Today we start a new series

--“DISCOVER OBEDIENCE: Jonah – Not Just Another Big Fish Story”

1. Some people treat the biblical account of Jonah as just another big fish story

--Is Jonah just a big fish story?

2. What is the Book of Jonah all about?

-- The Book of Jonah is about the will of God and how we respond to it

3. Here is the lesson of Jonah for us today:

-- The greatest assignment you have in life is to find the will of God for your life and then do it.

4. G. Campbell Morga: “Men have been looking so hard at the great fish that they have failed to

see the great God”.

5. Let’s begin our study of Jonah

a. You may know this story well but I invite you to hear it again over the next few weeks

b. Lay aside your former notions and images

c. Listen with fresh ears. Look with fresh eyes

--Prepare your hearts and minds to receive what God is teaching you through this study

6. Let’s pray….


--Jonah 1:1-2 – “The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and

preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’”

A. Jonah – a historical figure

1. His name means “dove”

a. Doves are beautiful birds full of grace and gentleness

b. Jonah was rough, harsh, and unmerciful

2. 2 Kings 14:25 tells us:

a. He was from Gath-hepher

-– a town about 3 miles north of Nazareth in Galilee

b. As repeated in Jonah 1:1, he was the son of Ammitai

c. That he was a prophet of YHWH during the reign of Jeroboam II

B. As a prophet, God’s word came to him

1. We’re not told the exact method of revelation to Jonah

a. Was it a dream?

b. A vision?

c. An audible voice

2. All we know is that God’s message was clear

--“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before


3. We should note that God is God over all nations

--Ninevah is “great” but God is greater

C. God has always been concerned with man’s relationship with Him

1. The promise to Abraham was that “all the world would be blessed”

2. He had called His special people, the Jews, to be a light to the Gentiles

3. God’s desire is that all would come to know Him

a. 2 Pet. 3:9 – “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is

patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

b. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes

in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

D. An Internet company named Napster was in the news a lot several years back. Napster offered a

program that allowed its clients to obtain free music on the Internet. Business was phenomenal.

However, most recording companies and musicians didn’t like people receiving the fruits of their musical

labors for nothing. Court battles ensued for legal and financial reasons.

Napster allowed folks to download for free recordings in MP3 format that were near-CD quality,

copyrighted or not. Folks were able to receive for free music at anytime – just go online, click, and

you’ve got the songs you want. Legal issues aside, people enjoyed the free downloads.

God offers us salvation for download at anytime – He wants the connection always open and there are

no copyright restrictions. God offers eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ free to anyone who


You can’t buy salvation, anyway. It comes by grace through faith because only God’s Son could pay

the price.


--Jonah 1:3 – “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where

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